Minnesota House says U.S. should trade with Cuba
Under the watchful eye of Minnesota Twins baseball great and Cuba native Tony Oliva, the Minnesota House approved a resolution asking the federal government to end a trade ban with Cuba.
However, despite the overwhelming 86-9 favorable vote, many Republicans refused to vote as a protest of Cuba's human rights history.
Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, said others have worse human rights violations. "I find China much more of a threat than Cuba and we seem to have an open relationship with them."
The bill asks the federal government to end the 40-year-old trade embargo, which in 2000 was amended to allow limited sale of food, medical supplies and medicine. Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, said Minnesota sold $20 million worth of those items to Cuba last year.
Juhnke, who recently visited Cuba as part of a state trade mission, said lifting the trade restrictions would help the Cuban people.